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Yonhap News Summary

All News 17:00 August 05, 2020

The following is the second summary of major stories moved by Yonhap News Agency on Wednesday.

(2nd LD) Downpours continue to grip S. Korea, key dam opens floodgates

SEOUL -- Damage from the heavy rain that has pounded South Korea's metropolitan and central regions continued to increase Wednesday, prompting officials to open the floodgates at a major dam for the first time in three years.

The downpours had killed 15 and left 11 missing as of 6 a.m., according to the Central Disaster and Safety Countermeasure Headquarters. Nearly 1,600 were forced to leave their homes, with two-thirds of them based in the provinces of South and North Chungcheong.

(LEAD) Seoul stocks hit almost 2-year high on U.S. stimulus hopes

SEOUL -- South Korean stocks gathered ground for the third consecutive session on Wednesday to close at the highest level in nearly two years, as investor sentiment was buoyed by progress in U.S. stimulus moves, analysts said. The Korean won rose against the greenback.

The benchmark Korea Composite Stock Price Index (KOSPI) gained 31.89 points, or 1.4 percent, to finish at 2,311.86. Trading volume was high at 830 million shares worth 17.6 trillion won (US$14.8 billion), with losers outpacing gainers 434 to 400.

China eases COVID-19 entry restrictions for S. Korean students, workers amid tensions with U.S.

BEIJING -- China eased coronavirus restrictions on the entry of South Korean students and workers Wednesday, sources said, in an apparent move to strengthen its ties with Seoul amid growing geopolitical tensions between Washington and Beijing.

Beijing started to receive visa applications from students, workers and those with valid residence permits, in the first such relaxation of the restrictions against foreigners that it placed in March to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

(2nd LD) New virus cases over 30 for 2nd day as imported, local infections rise

SEOUL -- South Korea reported 33 more cases of the new coronavirus Wednesday due to a continued rise in local infections coming in from overseas and locally transmitted cases.

The new cases, including 18 imported cases, raised South Korea's total cases of COVID-19 to 14,456, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (KCDC).

S. Korea begins procedures to introduce F-35B fighters for light aircraft carrier

SEOUL -- South Korea has begun procedures to determine the number of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) jets to purchase for its envisioned light aircraft carrier to be deployed by 2033, a government source said Wednesday.

The exact type of the VTOL aircraft to be deployed has yet to be decided, but it is likely to be the F-35B, which is the only model that meets South Korea's requirement that it have stealth capability.

S. Korea reiterates willingness to cooperate with New Zealand over sexual abuse case

SEOUL -- South Korea is willing to cooperate with New Zealand in accordance with mutual legal assistance and extradition treaties over sexual assault allegations against a senior diplomat, but Wellington has not requested such cooperation, the foreign ministry said Wednesday.

The diplomat was accused of groping a local male employee at South Korea's Embassy in Wellington on three occasions in 2017. He was disciplined, with a reduction in salary for a month over the case before moving to a post in the Philippines.

Gov't warns of stern actions against doctors' planned strike

SEOUL -- The government on Wednesday warned of stern actions against doctors' planned strike later this week, as their collective actions could disrupt the country's medical service and cause harm to people.

The Korean Intern Resident Association (KIRA), a group of doctors in training, earlier said its members will hold an all-out strike Friday in protest of the government's plan to raise admission quotas at medical schools.

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